me='viewport'/> the Blog Wine Cellar - Investing in Wine: 1997 California Cabernet

Saturday, August 01, 2009

1997 California Cabernet

I was talking with a few wine buddies about the 1997 California Cabernet's and how they have received mixed views as of late by the main stream wine press. We came to conclusion that they are all full of shit! The 1997 Cab's from Napa and Sonoma are absolutely amazing and some of the best wines I have tasted in my wine career.

Two years ago my best wine buddy opened a 1997 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages for my Birthday and it was one of the best wine memories I have. The wine was velvety smooth and amazingly concentrated and focused.

I just have to disagree when it comes to some of the wine press about this vintage because the wines are some of the most exquisite from California in decades.


Gary H. O'Brien said...

Glad to know that you had a fabulous bottle from this vintage. Generally speaking, they do not appear to be hanging in there like everyone at the time thought that they would. We had quite a selection of 1997's that we acquired when the vintage was first starting to hit the shelves, based on a lot of reviews and personal tastings. We have since drank through all of them. Yes, there are definitely exceptions as with all wine vintages but in general I recommend to folks that if you have them you should be drinking them; or if you have multiple bottles to at least be trying them to make sure they don't get away from you. Cheers!

thomas said...

The last few I've tasted were drinking in their primes too but we have to remember that 1997 was twelve years ago already. For the wines not to be hitting maturity would be strange for any vintage in California. The fact is most people make an apples to apples comparison with Bordeaux which is not fair to Napa and Sonoma. Bordeaux generally speaking is a much sturdier wine with higher acidity and lower alcohol. Just because the 97' vintage won't last another 10 years doesn't make it a bad vintage. It just means it was absolutely amazing for a shorter window of time. Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

I have open three bottles of the 97 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages over the last month or so. All three bottles were excellent and could have gone several more years. Each bottle had been cellared correctly since purchase which always helps. I have a few different 97's still waiting to be opened up and look forward to finding out what they have to offer.

thomas said...

Thanks for the comment Matt! I would have loved to enjoy those with you! It's been a little while since I have tasted a Cinq Cepages of any vintage, but it's a wine I always seem to enjoy. Especially when it's aged a bit. Cheers!